Now that I’ve had time to acclimate to my new MacBook Retina, it was time to do something to help carry and protect my new investment. While the Retina laptop is one of the lighter and sleeker I’ve owned, carrying it about made be a bit apprehensive. The unibody aluminum chassis is durable, but not immune to scratches and scuffs, and when you spend this kind of coin on a computer you want to keep it in mint condition.
While there is a plethora of bags and sleeves out there for the MacBook, I was looking for something specific- a bag that would be sleek, make the laptop easier to carry, protect it from minor bumps and scrapes, and most importantly offer some additional capacity to carry important additions like the power brick. Some of the most eye catching models (mainly sleeves) lacked the last but most important feature. I did find a few that looked promising like the Waterfield CitySlicker and Indy (or a few others, Waterfield has a very impressive lineup), or the Concrete Hook Case. While all of these selections fit what I was looking for and are visually impressive, they all had the same problem- price. After spending so much on the laptop itself, I was loathe to lay down another hundred or two on an accessory, regardless of how aesthetically pleasing it was. If you’re in the market act quickly before they are gone.
A trip to my local Apple Store came up empty. While they had a good selection of sleeves, I wasn’t in the market for one. The majority of their actual bags were backpacks- too bulky for what I needed. One of the associates saw me perusing their stock and suggested I try the Best Buy a block away, stating that they have enough shelf space to accommodate a wider range of products. While they didn’t have what I was looking for in their store, the associate manning the Apple section tipped me off to what led me to my eventual choice. He urged me to try Best Buy’s online selections, specifically the Brenthaven lineup. He assured me that Apple used Brenthaven’s bags exclusively in-house, and demonstrated the model he had been given years earlier (which still looked pristine after the seven years he had owned it). Encouraged, I went home to do a bit of shopping the way I preferred- online.
His advice was exactly what I needed (thank you nameless Best Buy/Apple associate!). After just a few minutes of perusing I found the ProStyle Plus Sleeve II. The nylon bag is slender but can accommodate the MacBook Pro and Retina version (the model I chose was specific for the 13 inch version) and has two pouches for additional storage: one large side pouch and a smaller pouch dubbed the iPhone pocket. The construction is top notch and includes both suitcase-style handles and a removable padded shoulder strap. The inner lining is of a silky synthetic material that will keep your laptop scuff-free and safe from minor bumps. Best of all the price was right- just over $30 including standard shipping. The ProStyle Plus Sleeve isn’t as eye-catching as what Waterfield has to offer, but the price makes up for any stylistic differences.
Sadly, this must be a closeout item for Best Buy because a search of Best Buy’s site during this post came up empty for the exact model I purchased. They do have a comparable 13 inch model in plum, and additional ones for 15 inch laptops (and a very nice satchel). While not the deal I managed to snag, the remaining bags are still very affordable and an excellent selection for the MacBook owner looking for something both stylish and practical.